Use your contacts to help you branch out

SOPHIE HALL
SOPHIE HALL DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION INTELLIFLO

I see that Tesco intends to diversify into construction and build four mini-villages in the South-East. It has also earmarked developments in Ipswich and the North-East.

The first of these plans was given the green light by Lambeth Council recently, when it gave permission to build 200 homes, a bus depot and an ice rink in Streatham, south London.

This is taking the idea of business diversification to the extreme. After all, now you could buy a Tesco home through the retailer’s estate agent, secure a mortgage through its banking arm and buy groceries on its credit cards in its stores.

The pressure on brokers in the past couple of years has seen many diversifying from their core business to survive, and being able to respond rapidly to market conditions is essential for any business.

So it is imperative to ensure that the IT system you use underpins the variants of financial services you may get involved with. I appreciate this might seem rather like having a crystal ball but knowing the system you use has the capability to support you when you need it is vital.

Most importantly, your client relationship management system should allow you to segment your customers so when you diversify you can determine which have agreed to future contacts, which are suitable for your products and where to market new opportunities.

Having this information will support your activities and let you get on with doing what you do best – working with your clients.